Hobgoblin Shadows

When mother forgot to shut the curtains at night,
outside the window the sulphurous street light
invaded my bedroom and filled it with shadows
of slippery hobgoblins with fingers so thin
they could fit in my ears and burrow under my skin,
squirm into the feathers that softened my pillows,
and wait until I’d fallen asleep in my bed
to come out from hiding and enter my head,
and permeate it with monsters and ghouls,
the things that gobble up young children’s souls.
But I had a secret, a place I could hide,
where evil hobgoblins could not get inside:
I recited the poems that I’d learnt by heart,
good magic to counter the goblins’ black art.

Kim M. Russell, 2017

Hobgoblin Shadows

Image found on Pinterest

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Boogeyman

Rommy says that children can have very vivid imaginations- she did when she was young. They can conjure up fanciful notions to delight themselves or scare themselves silly. Most kids have at least one thing they fear. Some kids fear bugs. Some fear the dark. And some don’t have a real name for what it is they fear waits for them in the dark. But they know it’s out there. Sometimes it goes by a name – the boogeyman.

For today’s prompt, Rommy would like us to contemplate the idea of the childhood boogeyman.


30 thoughts on “Hobgoblin Shadows

    1. When I moved from my grandparents’ house in a quiet back street to my parents’ flat near a main road, I was very bothered by a flashing neon sign as well as street lights!


  1. This is incredibly evocative, Kim!❤️ I can picture those shadows on your bedroom wall and delighted in “I recited the poems that I’d learnt by heart,good magic to counter the goblins’ black art.” Beautifully executed.❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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